The Bank of England has made it known that British Mathematician and World War II code-breaker, Alan Turing, will have his portrait on the back of Britain’s new £50 banknote.
The Bank of England governor, Mr Mark Carney, noted that Alan Turing was an exceptional hero to the country as he unveiled the note at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, northwest England.
“Alan Turing was an outstanding Mathematician whose work has had an enormous impact on how we live today,” Mr Carney said.
“As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as war hero, Alan Turing’s contributions were far ranging and path-breaking. Turing is a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand,” added the BoE chief at the unveiling,” he added.
The £50 note will be the last of the Bank of England collection to switch from paper to polymer when it enters circulation by the end of 2021.
The note was once described as the “currency of corrupt elites” and is the least used in daily transactions.
However, there are still 344 million £50 notes in circulation, with a combined value of £17.2bn, according to the Bank of England’s banknote circulation figures.
Turing is celebrated for his code-cracking work that proved vital to the allies in World War Two. He received a posthumous pardon from Queen Elizabeth II in 2013 over a conviction in 1952 for gross indecency with a 19-year-old man.
He did not go to prison but was chemically castrated and died of cyanide poisoning in an apparent suicide in 1954, aged 41.
The Bank of England is putting new faces on Britain’s bank notes as it switches from paper to polymer, a thin, flexible plastic film that is seen as more durable and secure.
The new £20 note, due to enter circulation next year, will feature artist J. M. W. Turner on its back.
The new polymer £5 and £10 notes already in circulation show wartime leader Winston Churchill and author Jane Austen respectively.
Queen Elizabeth II features on the front of Britain’s banknotes.
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